Ukraine has officially sought the transfer of F-16 jets belonging to the Netherlands as Amsterdam is in the process of tranisiting to F-35 jets.
The Minister of Defense of the Netherlands, Kajsa Ollongren confirmed this inforamtion, according to Dutch publication, NOS.
However, it is not easy to fulfill the Ukrainian request, according to the minister. “We need to discuss the availability of the F-16 with the USA and other allies. And we have to take the consequences seriously, it cannot happen overnight. We have to be honest about this,” Ollongren said.
The report notes that before the Armed Forces of Ukraine can use these fighters, the Ukrainian military must undergo appropriate training. It is emphasized that the F-16 is US-made combat aircraft, so the transfer of these military aircraft to third countries requires the permission of the US government.
Kajsa Ollongren does not rule out that in the long term, Ukraine will become one of the countries where F16s will be in service.
President Zelensky addressed the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday seeking fighter jets to defeat Russia.
Alongwith concerns that giving fighter jets to Kyiv would draw Europe into the war against Russia, the issue of pilots, maintenance, spares, weapons and support services has made the U.S. and its NATO allies apprehensive of giving fighter jets.
Ukraine had earlier sought Eurofighter Typhoons from the U.K., but received a polite "no" from the British government.